IBM offers free security tools for applications

IBM will release free security software tools for business application developers on Thursday, a move the company said will help stem security breaches.

IBM released free security software tools for business application developers on Thursday, a move the company said will help stem security breaches and hacker attacks.

IBM said the software allows developers to build security into their applications from the start, rather than fix problems later with patches after security holes are discovered.

One offering, the Secure Shell Library for Java, encrypts data sent between computers, IBM said. The software adheres to the SSH (secure shell) security protocol standards, IBM said.

IBM said there is a critical need for secure data transfers in the banking, e-commerce and health care industries. IBM quoted a survey by the FBI estimating that cybercrime cost U.S. businesses more than US$62 billion in 2005.

A second tool lets developers test and secure enterprise Java applications, supporting standards such as Java 2 and OSGi (Open Services Gateway Initiative), a set of specifications for networked devices.

Developers can use the software, called Security Workbench Development Environment for Java, to embed authorization and access privileges into development processes while building applications, IBM said. Overall, the software saves developers time by generating security policies without running code, IBM said.

The software is available as part of IBM's alphaWorks program at www.alphaworks.ibm.com.

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